NFL Week 5: Overcoming The Odds – 3 Games to Watch

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Richard Graves

Presenter, Writer and Broadcaster

NFL Week 13: Overcoming The Odds - 3 Games to Watch

Super Bowl Champs Face the Cowboys in a Rush.

Titans to Take Command Against Washington & the Lions Need to Find Some Teeth to Prevail in New England


Detroit Lions (1-3) @ New England Patriots (1-3) (Total Points 0ver 45.5)

A month into the season and the Detroit Lions are the number 1 ranked offense in the NFL – we all predicted it, right?  Well, they’re not just the top ranked team in total offense, they’re the number 1 ranked scoring offense as well – averaging 35 points per game. The frustrating thing for head coach, Dan Campbell and this team is as good as they’ve been offensively, they’ve been bad defensively. They are dead last in total and scoring defense and rank 31st against the run.

What is it the New England Patriots do? They run the ball!  Last weekend – without starting QB Mac Jones in the line-up, they rushed for 167 yards and scored 24 points against a good Packers defensive unit.

This has all the makings of a high scoring game.  The Patriots’ defense has held opponents to fewer than 20 points just once so far this season. While the Lions have only scored fewer than 30 points once. Expect a shootout with the win, vital for both teams to keep their season alive.

PICK: Total Points Over 45.5


Tennessee Titans (2-2) @ Washington Commanders (1-3) (Titans -2.5)

The titans come into this game off the back of a much needed, season boosting win, over AFC South rivals, Indianapolis Colts. While the Commanders suffered another loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington’s biggest issue right now lies on the offensive line. They simply cannot protect QB Carson Wentz.  Through 4 games he’s been sacked 17 times – that’s more than enough to make the most experienced quarterback feel flighty in the pocket! So far, the Titans, as a team, have 10 sacks this year – expect that figure to improve on Sunday!

Both teams are missing rookie receivers with Jahan Dotson side lined for the Commanders and Treylon Burks out for Tennessee. But the Titans will lean heavily on the run game and Derrick Henry. Henry is yet to have a true breakout game this year. This could be it!

Washington are only scoring 18 points per game but they’ve only scored 18 in their last 2 games – combined! They are a struggling team right now and if the titans can control time of possession and the scoreboard with an effective ground game, this will likely be another long day for the Commanders

PICK: Tennessee Titans -2.5


Dallas Cowboys (3-1) @ LA Rams (2-2) (Rams -24.5 points)

4 weeks ago the Dallas Cowboys season looked doomed.  Dismal in a week 1 loss at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Starting QB Dak Prescott lost for at least a month and a tough fixture schedule ahead. What a difference a month makes!

Back-up QB Cooper Rush is 3-0 this season. The Cowboys record has improved to 3-1 and they have a defensive front which is playing lights out football.

In contrast, it’s been an indifferent start for the reigning Super Bowl champion, LA Rams. A 2-2 record through the first month of the season. Offensively, they’ve struggled – highlighted by scoring just 9 points on Monday night against San Francisco – and their offensive line looks worryingly porous. Matthew Stafford has been sacked 16 times this season.  That’s a problem heading into this matchup against a Cowboys defensive front which is active and specialises in getting to the QB.  As a team they’ve already sacked opposing QBs 15 times.  Micah Parsons is being talked about as a potential defensive player of the year candidate. Which might be an issue for the reigning defensive player of the year, the Rams’ Aaron Donald.

In their current 3 game win streak, the Cowboys have only turned the ball over once and Cooper Rush hasn’t turned it over at all. Expect Donald and co to have something to say about that on Sunday. Equally, don’t expect this to be a high scoring game. Without Prescott, Dallas have leaned heavily on their defense to wreak havoc – and they have.  This unit hasn’t given up more than 19 points in any single game this season.  The Rams have only scored more than 20 once.  They rank a lowly 29th in scoring offense, averaging 17.5 points per game. The Cowboys are 3rd in scoring defense – giving up 15.5 points per game.  Don’t expect a shootout in this one and don’t expect the Rams to score over 24 points.

PICK: LA Rams Under 24.5 Points

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